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An album that lives up to it's title....
on 8 November 2001
Compilation albums covering the Christmas genre are usually ten-a-penny come the festive season, but if it's quality you're after - never mind value for money - then "The Best Christmas Album In The World....Ever" is the CD you're looking for.
It's an overly-used expression nowadays, but this collection is an absolute 'classic'. Featuring many well-known tracks from a time when Christmas singles really meant something, you'll be hard pushed to find a song you haven't heard before - and believe me, these are the songs that'll be played constantly during the run-up to Christmas in almost every place you'll go.
Because it appears no-one's interested in making Christmas records an more, the people who compiled this CD have included many Christmas favourites from years gone by. Of course, "The Best Christmas Album In The World....Ever!" relies heavily on the massive chart hits from the 1970s. I mean, what collection would this be without Christmas contributions from Slade, Roy Wood & Wizzard, Paul McCartney, John & Yoko, Greg Lake, Chris De Burgh, Jona Lewie, Mud and Elton John? There's more than just a few classic 'cuts' from the 1950s and 1960s included here too: Nat King' Cole, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Adam Faith and Matt Munro. Oldies, yes, but still all-time favourites. And, quite rightly, Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" features here too.
For those who like their music with a more modern feel, those responsible for this CD have included Robbie Williams' "Angels" (even if I can't understand why) and "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by Tom Jones and Cerys Mathews - two tracks that don't usually conjure up thoughts of "Christmas" to most people.
However, "The Best Christmas Album In The World....Ever!" belongs to the 'oldie' genre. But the quality doesn't suffer. From the 80s, there's "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid, Frankie Goes To Hollywood's, "The Power Of Love" (probably the best non-Christmas CHRISTMAS #1 ever), Mel (Smith) & Kim (Appleby's) homage to 50s rock'n'roll, "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" and the hauntingly beautiful "Walking In The Air" by Aled Jones. Cliff Richard also appears with (count 'em!) FOUR contributions including the criminally under-rated "Millennium Prayer".
For the Christmas traditionalists, there's a nice selection of Carols from the likes of Sinead O'Conner, The Spinners and David Bowie and Bing Crosby.
Sure, there's a couple of naff tracks, but these can be easily skipped. What you're left with is a classic collection of all-time Christmas favourites - a double CD for those who have the slightest bit of interest in the festive season.